I’ve had the Realspace PRO Quantum Mesh Mid-Back Task Chair for 2 to 3 years now. Our relationship has finally come to an end.
When I first discovered this chair at Office Depot, I had already looked at a lot of different chairs and decided that I would want a mesh chair since it is usually pretty hot, here in Texas. The Herman Miller Aeron was a bit pricey. The Realspace chair, at less than half the price, was fully adjustable and comfortable to sit in. It was not big and bulky like some of the other chairs in the same price range, which was fine with me since I’m under 150 lb. It does have a heavy base, which keeps it well grounded. It had been a great chair for me until the day it broke.
I was at my desk working on the computer, when I decided to lean back. In a split second, the chair back broke off from the chair base. I started to fall back. My legs flew up and caught the underside of the desk, preventing me from falling completely off the chair. The back of my head was about a foot from the ground. It was the most exciting thing to happen to me all week.
I took a closer look at the chair. The chair base has a metal stub with 2 screw holes in it. The bottom portion of the chair back is made of plastic. It’s like a sleeve that fits over the metal stub. Once attached, the two parts are held together by 2 screw that go in from the back of the chair.
What caused the back of the chair to break off was that the two screws holding the back and the chair base together had sheared off. Then the plastic sleeve at the bottom of the chair back cracked and entire back fell off. It all happened instantly.
This is a pretty dangerous design flaw. I was lucky to be working at a desk, which held down my legs and kept me from falling off. Someone leaning back while not at a desk, and on a concrete floor could be serious injured when this chair fails. That the chair was designed for the user to lean back in, and that it broke for a user weighing under 150 lbs is a really bad sign! It is an unsafe product that should be recalled. I would not recommended this chair to anyone unless the design flaw is addressed.
I sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let Office Depot know what happened to my chair. They apologized and asked if I still had the receipt. I didn’t so I sent them photos of the chair. Based on that, they mailed me an Office Depot gift card for $300, which is the price that I had paid for the chair 2 to 3 years ago. I’m very happy with the way in which they handled the whole thing. It was not a hassle at all.
They didn’t answer my question about whether there has been a recall on this chair. My guess is that it’s still a money maker for them (it’s still on their website), the payout to people who complained like I did, is still too small, and they probably have not had a lawsuit yet…